Escapism: Is It Healthy?

Like Warcraft? Non-geeks will tell you
to power down immediately.
Photo: Petr Kratochvil,
publicdomainpictures.net

Escapism is the cornerstone of a geek’s life–or a writer’s, for that matter. Even though I focus on writing nonfiction, I still constantly rely on the creative part of my mind to generate article ideas. It makes sense that most of my editing work at the moment involves fiction; most of my writing assignments are about TV. I feel like I’m getting away with something because even my work centers around escaping from reality. Is that bad?

I don’t think it is. I think it’s the secret to my success. Could I sit down and write for eight hours about a boring topic? Probably not. Can I write about dog Halloween costumes while in IMRP (instant message role play – it’s text-based) with my BFF who lives across the country (shoutout to you, Shannon the fabulous)? Yes.

Let’s get things straight. I’m the one who recently posted about how I don’t believe in faeries, even though I like them.

Sure, some people take their fantasies to new levels. In attempts to live fantasies, they destroy their lives. There are multiple instances of divorce caused by the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft (AKA WoW, World of Warcrack). Sure, people have lost jobs and marriages because they’ve been addicted to video games, but the real issue here is escapism in general.

Long before video games, people had multiple means of escapism. A person could become just as addicted to fantasy novels, movies, or a favorite band. These things can all become all-consuming of one’s time and money.

Our society often judges those buried in escapism, regardless of the reasons. However, it’s often acceptable if someone makes money with their obsession. If not, it’s generally just considered a big waste of time. After all, if a person likes her job and spends 10 hours per day working, society sees that as a good work ethic. If it’s more than a few hours in front of a computer screen and no income is generated, it’s considered a problem.

What do you think? Please leave a comment!

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About Tara M. Clapper 274 Articles
Tara is a lifelong geek and the founder and publisher of The Geek Initiative. Her interests were forged in an early appreciation for "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Jurassic Park," and many historical fiction and fantasy novels. Tara is a game designer, LARPer, and frequent convention attendee. The author of over 1,000 individual blogs, her content has been featured on HelloGiggles, nordiclarp.org, LARPing.org, and The Billfold. She holds a B.A. in English from McDaniel College and has attended many events as press (including New York Comic Con). Tara has a professional background in marketing and publishing. She lives in the Philadelphia area. A Marvel fan, her favorite superhero is undoubtedly Thor. View her portfolio at: tmc.pressfolios.com.

2 Comments

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